Hyderabad: The Telangana government has decided to convene on April 16 a Special Assembly Session to pass legislation to increase reservation for Muslims and Scheduled Tribes, Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao announced on Wednesday.
Announcing the decision after holding a cabinet meeting on the subject in the evening, chief minister K Chandrasekhara Rao said the cabinet would once again meet on April 15 to determine the exact percentage of reservations for Muslims and STs.
The chief minister also said he was hopeful that the Centre would back his government's move and help get the Presidential ascent for the new Act.
The State Government wants the Centre to protect the quota legislation on par with the 69 per cent reservation that was implemented in Tamil Nadu and included in the 9th Schedule.
The TRS government had promised 12 per cent reservations each for Muslims and Scheduled Tribes, but the hike recommended by BC and ST commissions has been kept a secret.
However, citing unnamed source in the government media reports said that Muslim quota may be increased from the existing 4 per cent to 7 or 9 per cent, whereas Scheduled Tribes (ST) quota from 6 per cent to 9 per cent based on the population and to avoid legal tangle though KCR desires 12 per cent. However, BC Commission members refused to comment.
The announcment by Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao came despite strong opposition from the Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP). The BJP has opposed reservation based on religion and is sure to kick up a row.
The All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM), aTRS ally in the state, though welcomed the decision but asked the government to be cautious, take legal approval and avoid rejection of reservation to Muslims.
Population of Muslims in Telangana as per 2011 Census Report is 44,64,699 which works out to 12.68% of the total population of the state. Citywise, Hyderabad has the largest concentration whereas Khammam has the loswest population of Muslims.